Bintulu, Miri and Bandar Seri Begawan Trip (2016).

By Palah Chingu

“I take a picture, but it’s not about who is in the picture or the background of it. It’s about the memories and meanings it holds.” 

Kayla Davis

Date : 3 November – 7 November 2016.

Destination : Kuala Lumpur -> Bintulu ->  Miri -> Brunei -> Miri – > Bintulu -> Kuala Lumpur

*(this time we brought along other chinguzzzzz to join)*

GUA NIAH, SARAWAK

A freaking long walk is a must before we finally made it to Niah Cave. I almost died twice. This is why you should exercise, people. Once you arrived there, the feeling is indescribable. Along the journey, be prepared to immerse in magnificent view of forest and river (and cricket’s sounds too)

CHINESE TEMPLE BINTULU, SARAWAK

Not really in the plan of place we want to visit, but what the hell, right? An enormous temple, i must say and it is well preserved. It is so beautiful and peaceful at the same time. Be sure to drop by if you are around.

KAMPONG AYER, BRUNEI

The first place we visited when we reached Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei. The boat took us around for about 30 – 40 minutes just to see around Kampong Ayer (Water Village if its translated in english). This is one of the main attractions if you are in Brunei. Brunei currently building the bridge to connect the people who lived there with their mainland. The school, mosque and even cafe are all built on the water. The boat ride is surely enjoyable (for me) but i’m not sure about the rest. LOL

We Nerds love history. Hence, a trip to museum is an obligation. We visited some museums, centre and mausoleum in Brunei. We also drop by to the only  chinese temple in brunei (if i’m not mistaken, forgive me if i’m wrong). The location, unfortunately is all over the place. We literally driving around and got lost too many times to find the museum . No camera is allowed at most of the places we go thus enjoy the picture of us at the entrance only.

(Side Note : No entrance fee to all of these places).

– Brunei Technology Museum

– Brunei History Centre

–  Brunei Maritime Museum

-Teng Yun Temple

– Raja Ayang Mausoleum

SULTAN OMAR ALI SAIFUDDIN MOSQUE

If you are driving around Bandar Seri Begawan, you cant miss the grand view of this mosque. During Night, the lights all around the mosque just enhance the architecture and structure of this worship place. Its just mesmerizing.

TUSAN BEACH, SARAWAK

We intend to come here and wait until the ocean glows (there are planktons presence detected that can make the ocean lights up in blue color). Unfortunately, none of us had the stamina to wait after long hours of driving and staying in car. The beach is pretty much hidden. Fatma is a hell of a driver. Driving there is quite challenging with the road condition and the absent of light, lets just say it doesnt make things easier. However, the sunset view was unforgettable.

TANJUNG BINTULU BEACH

Last stop before we went back to Kuala Lumpur is this beach. It is incomparable to  Tusan Beach but anything with amazing view is worth seeing.

 Side Notes on the trip :

Do not go to Brunei on Friday. They shut down all the business from 12.00 pm – 2.00 pm. We are so hungry that we even chase the delivery guy thinking that his restaurant might open at that time. Of course not, silly. ALL BUSINESS is OFF for 2 hours. What we do for 2 hours? We played ‘Jutaria’ game. (We didnt do the research properly, thats why we stranded  there for 2 hours without food. They put all operations on hold  for 2 hours due to Friday Prayers).

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Long hours of Driving means a lot of sleeping in the car. A LOT.

However, Fatma (The driver for this whole trip) and i (a good company, obviously, duhh) are really enjoying this long driving (well, what else can we do?)

TOO MANY PHOTOS (SORRY GUYS)

I’ll be back with more reviews on other trips that we threechinguz did. Adios!

Short Getaway to Kuala Sepetang, Perak

by Ruby Gege

All hail the weekends, people! Palah and I decided that for our second weekend getaway, we would go to Kuala Sepetang. Where the hell is that? You may ask. Trust me, I asked the same question two years ago. Hahaha.

Kuala Sepetang is a small town 16 km away from Taiping. It is not much of a town, really, but a highly-functional fishing village. It used to be quite busy as a mining area and was formerly known as Port Weld (fancy name, eh?) It is known for its great seafood, fishing village that looked pretty much the same since Merdeka days and its riverside tourism (boat ride, eagle-sighting, dolphin sighting (if you’re lucky) and some fireflies stuff, too). Since I am not a fan of nature, my purpose was mainly to enjoy the scenery and fresh air, aside from going to the Matang Museum and Mangrove Forest walk.

The drive from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Sepetang can be quite tiring. Thus, Palah and I (joined by our master nappers, Jeep and Fatin) decided to stop by Ipoh and spent the first night at Palah’s family home. We headed to Kuala Sepetang the next day, which took us about one hour.

The first place we went was Kedai Makan Yut Sun, a superb kopitiam in Taiping. For the past 2 years, I have been having an intense love affair with this establishment. We orded the best food to have there – kaya and butter bread, chicken chop with rice, Roti Seremban and kuey tiow. The coffee there, I tell you, is one of the best coffee in Malaysia.

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Palah looking absolutely serious and Fatin choosing what to eat.

Afterwards, we headed to Matang Museum, which is situated between Taiping and Kuala Sepetang. Rich in history, it tells the history of a powerful Malay nobleman, Ngah Ibrahim, who ruled Larut (together with Matang and Selama, the districts had Taiping as their capital). During his rule, chaos reigned as the Larut Wars were happening between the clan of Hai San and Ghee Hin, two Chinese secret society based in Malaya during that time. Come the intervention of the Perak Sultanate and the British colonial government, somehow Ngah Ibrahim found himself punished for opposing the British rule. A complex history at that time, to be sure.

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Matang Museum, also known as Kota Ngah Ibrahim

The building itself is beautifuuuul! The fort surrounding the building is actually the original fort of Ngah Ibrahim’s mansion. The house is also quite intact. When we went in, the officers of the museum were quiet but cordial to us. The exhibitions in the museum are also praiseworthy. They have different sections – the different types of miners (Chinese and Malay), the Japanese rule, the replica of offices of Malay noblemen and British officers. Aside from that, the museum also offers lots of knowledge about important historical figures that our mainstream society has seem to have forgotten about.

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Jeep smiling with the vintage background. Looks like a painting, does it not? The wall, I mean, not Jeep.

The outer side of the museum, of course, is highly Instagram-ish. It is a good thing that they did not alter or renovate the paint so much that the building retains a nostalgic and historical feel.

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Where art thou, Captain Speedy? Here’s to me fantasizing myself as a Malay princess 200 years ago, and Jeep ignoring my antics.

A few hundred metres from the main building is the house of Captain Speedy, who was Ngah Ibrahim’s officer. Sadly, though, the building is not open for visitors so we could only get to take a picture outside the house.

Then, off we went to Kuala Sepetang. The first place we stopped by is the Mangrove Forest Reserve. Since I am not much of nature’s lover, I’ll just say this to you – it is quite an amazing place for you to take a nice long walk. In the forest. Literally. Surrounded by a gazillion trees. Palah went cray cray with her love for greeneries. Haha. According to Palah, the Mangrove Forest here was actually declared as the best mangrove forest reserve in the world! Not bad, Malaysia, not bad. Sometimes, the country does make me proud!

There is also a small jetty at the end of our walk. We rested by the jetty for a while. Palah embodied her role as a serious inspiring photographer, taking a picture of what-not.

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After spending some time there, we went to have lunch at the famous Mee Udang Mak Jah. The mee udang there is soooo delicious! It is spicy, soupy and has lots and lots of fresh prawns.

After lunch, we went to our hotel, the Happy 8 Retreat, which is right by the river. It is a nice place to stay, though can be quite tiring as it has no elevator and our room is on the (God forbid) 3rd FLOOR! So, lots of climbing for us fat people! The staffs are quite helpful and friendly, most of them seem to be local people. We took a nap, rested and basically enjoyed our beds and air-conditioner. However, if you guys are serious coffee or tea drinkers like me, I would suggest that you bring your own supply of beverages since they don’t supply it a lot there (like… only one packet of instant coffee for each room).

Finally, after resting and before dinner, we went on a boat ride! I can’t really remember the name of the boat service company (Palah does, so you guys can ask her) but it is situated not more than three shoplots away from our hotel. After our phone call, she came to pick us up right away and took us to the boat. Imagine, only four of us and the aunty and the boat driver and the aunty’s son. The boat ride cost us RM 80 but it is totally worth it. We get to see the fishing village in more details! The houses in each side of the village – the one by the river and the other side which is literally… houses on the river… like… floating).

Come the next day, we did not do much. We rested all morning and drove to Ipoh to visit our friend, Ika. She is teaching English at a centre there and we lepak-ed at Plan B, this high-end food chain from KL. I am so surprised to see how Ipoh has changed in some certain parts. People are trying to be more hipster (kinda like Penang) and that annoyed us a bit. Of course, the food, though, is still alright.

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Jeep and Fatin, possibly over-whelmed by the over-hipsterness of Ipoh…

Of course, we would not want to leave Ipoh without going to a museum. First, we went to the Darul Ridzuan Museum but left extremely disappointed as most sections of the museum were closed for renovation. Determined to never give up, we googled and finally found Ho Yan Hor Museum. The outer look of the museum is very pleasing – blue in colour and homey-like. We did not know what the museum exhibits but the staffs there are extremely hospitable and friendly. Ho Yan Hor is a really famous herbal tea brand in Malaysia created by a pharmacist/tabib/healer decades ago. Due to his hard work, he managed to spread the fame of the tea nation-wide.

After saying goodbye to Ika, we then returned, quite reluctantly, to Kuala Lumpur. The short trip to Perak was short indeed. But it was lovely as hell. So guys, if you are looking for a place to visit which does not require lots of planning or money to be spent, we think Kuala Sepetang is the place for you. If you have more days to spare, you can actually stop by many townships on your way there ie Kuala Kangsar and Teluk Intan as well. I’m sure they have lots of interesting things to offer there as well.

That’s all for now! Bye bye!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short Getaway to Lukut, Port Dickson

by Ruby Gege

Here is how it started – one week ago, I blurted out to Palah that, “damn, I need a short getaway to someplace near. The long hours at work have been killing me and I just need to escape.” Two days later, Palah – being the efficient planner that she is – informed me that there are lots of cheap but good hotels around the Port Dickson area. I was surprised – “are we going this weekend?” I asked. “I was thinking about April or May.” Palah laughed at me, telling me that this weekend would be the best time. Unprepared yet excited, I obliged. Come Saturday morning (which was yesterday), Palah, Jeep, my little sister and I took off to Negri Sembilan in my brother’s Perodua Myvi.

It turned out that the amazing hotel we’ve booked, The Guest Hotel & Spa, is located in the area of Lukut, which is a small town a few kilometres from Port Dickson. So, you see, we did not actually spend our time in PD at all. Lukut, though quiet, is a lovely town – peaceful with quite a number of interesting places to visit. We can safely say that our 24 hours spent there has been unexpectedly pleasant. We thought we were going to spend our getaway hanging out by the seashore but we actually did not. We took a lot of much needed rest, visited museums and went to a cafe, of course. I myself drank countless cups of coffee. The only beach we went to is Bagan Pinang, which is quite a nice beach.

We also went to the Country Cat Cafe. Palah and Jeep really loved it there. Since I’m not into animals, haha, I won’t talk about it here. Do contact Palah for more details about the cafe.

Here is a brief overview of the places we went.

1- The Guest Hotel & Spa

 Palah told me that the hotel is of a 3.5 star standard. The service is good – we booked a family suite that can fit 4 people and even got coupons for breakfast though we did not pay for it through Expedia. The place is very clean overall – from the breakfast area, the room to the swimming pools. We spent many hours resting in our room, literally refusing to leave the place.

Another plus thing about the hotel is its location. Since it’s not situated at the heart of PD, it has lots of parking space and places to eat around it. So yeay for drivers who are lazy to look for parkings anywhere!

2 – Muzium & Kota Lukut

The first place we visited in Lukut is its Museum. We were a bit baffled when we saw the signboard for the place. Even though we considered ourselves to be museum junkies, we have literally never heard of this museum’s existence. We were so impressed with the museum! The exhibitions inside explain the history of Lukut – how it started off as a tin-mining area. The wealth of the place had caused many conflicts between the royal families led by one Raja Jumaat and his prince, Raja Bot and the miners. Apparently, lots of battles and bloodshed had happened here, which were unbeknownst to me and my friends. Yeay for museums for giving us extra historical knowledge!

The building is a beautiful fusion building of Colonial and Malay style. It is quite well-maintained (kudos to the curator for this!). The courtyard is damn huge but too bad the weather was unforgivably hot.

3 – Alive 3D Art Gallery

Our second visit to the 3D Gallery! The first one we went to is in Langkawi Island. The entrance fee is RM 20 per head. Even though the gallery in Lukut is smaller, we had more fun taking photos here as there were not many visitors. The best thing about it is that it is not more than 50 metres away from our hotel! We took our time, choosing our best poses and literally went all out! The paintings are mediocre, really, but for the sake of funny Instagram photos, who the hell cares! Some photos we took really turned out great!

 

4 – The Army Museum

On Sunday, after two hours of free breakfast and one hour of lounging around the swimming pool, we checked out of the hotel and drove to The Army Museum 10km away. Since I had been here around 6 years ago, I expected the visit to be quite meh. However, upon reaching the place, I was so shocked to see the new updates on the exhibitions. There were more impressive display – at the Malacca Sultanate section, they had a replica of a ship, A’Famosa and Stadhuys buildings. I was going ‘whoaaaah’ for the whole hour I was there. The part which we enjoyed most is the underground tunnel below the ground floor, which is meant to be a replica of a Communist Party hideout.

 

There are most pictures we have in our phones but putting them all here would be too messy. Do visit our Facebook page  – Ruby Jusoh or the Three Chinguz Facebook page if you want to see more pictures.

Overall, we had a great weekend getaway in Lukut. Even though we spent only about 24 hours there, we did more things than we could imagine, mainly because the area is a small town with substantial history. Now that we are back in KL, my friends and I are feeling the omens of returning to our ‘real life’ – the obligations of work, the responsibilities and facing up to life’s burdens. Ah, how we wish we could live by the seaside, enjoying the peacefulness of a small town, all day, everyday…

No. I am joking, of course. I’d die of boredom if that happens. Nonetheless, a short getaway is always necessary. As I mentioned before this, the chaotic lifestyle in KL drains your soul. An escape does not hurt and Lukut, Port Dickson is one of the place you can do it!

Langkawi & Us – The Unforgettable Trip

By The Gorgeous Palah Chingu

I guess i should at least update something on this blog. It’s been ages since ive been here. (As a threechinguz’s representative) Pardon us , dear followers, as all of us failed to update and review something for the past 4 months. We’ve been busy with work and all kind of adult stuffs. I wish i could say more than apology but whats done is done. Alright, lets get back to real stuff. We have been planning this trip for over 3 months. We picked Langkawi because Fatma never been there and last time ive been there was in 2003. I brought along one of of my best friends, Jibah in this trip. We met in USM and she can get along pretty much with my other best friends so i dont see any harm in bringing her in one of the best friend trip (thats what we called it, its a bit tackly but hey, dont judge). We spent about 300++ per person for 3 days 2 night in Langkawi. It’s pretty much affordable considering we are not effing rich.

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We went there by ETS. From KL Sentral to Arau, it took us about 7 hours to finally arrive. According to Jibah, taking a ferry from Kuala Perlis is quicker than taking it from Kedah. Hence, why we choose the train in the first Place. The ticket price cost us each RM 86 per person. Well, I am not complaining because we cut 12 hours of driving if we decided driving there or going there by bus. Look at us, all happy. Honestly, we killed the time by talking, eating, talking and taking a picture. Brace yourself for a lot of photos and we are addicted to having a selfie or wefie everywhere. Selfie and Wefie is a must for this trip.

We arrived at Arau around 9.00pm. No, we are not going to Langkawi right away. As we are all tired, we planned to spend the night at Megastar Vacation Inn. We’ve got 1 room with 4 beds with affordable price. It was comfy and clean making its hard to believe that for RM 90.00 per night, we can get such room. I forgot to mention that staff there are  nice and friendly too. Its hard to beat our expectation on the Hotel that we are going to stay later in Langkawi.

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For RM 90 per night, you got 2 queen beds at Megastar Vacation Inn.

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We could go to Langkawi by flight but seeing that all of us are feeling a little bit adventurous, we went to the Island by Ferry. Ferry service charged each of us RM 18. I didnt have time to compare price with other ferry lines but i choose Ferry Line Ventures because they have online ticketing service. It makes my work easier as self proclaimed trip planner. Haha. We felt nauseous a little bit when ferry bumped with a big wave but thats just it. Nobody puke. Its a little bit dizzy but all is good in the end. We arrived at Langkawi after 1 hour in a ferry.

We arrived at Langkawi on time. Boy, we went to Langkawi at the wrong time. It is packed with people. I know that i shouldnt expect the island to be empty but man, even the toilet formed a long queue. Its like people are seeking protection from Zombie attack at Langkawi. I blame me for picking the wrong date and i blame all of us that we are being bloody optimistic its not going to be filled with a massive amount of people. What can i expect, we’ve got 2 public holidays plus weekend, of course its a full house. We faced a little bit difficulty with Car Rental Service. We have to wait for 2 hours for the car to arrive. Thank God, it arrived. My mind scared me off by imagining that we have been deceived or scammed. Turned out on that day, those who came to Langkawi without any plan, they couldnt get any car rental. Booking and paying deposit early wont kill you, i guess. We rented Viva Produa from ANON car rental service for the price of RM 180 for 3 days. We slept at Joy Motel near Pekan Kuah. It was not in a good condition comparing to what we have at Arau but we are not going to spend our time in a Motel. Weve got long list locations and places that we’re going to visit. As long it got 4 beds and the toilet is working, we are okay with it. Joy Motel charged us RM 110 per night for family room.

and the trip began….

 

Underwater World Langkawi:

Makam Mahsuri :

Tengah Beach, Langkawi:

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3D Art Museum :

Langkawi Sky Cab:

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Wat Koh Wanaram Temple:

Wildlife and Birdpark Sanctuary :

Langkawi Legend Park:

and the journey ended here…

Again, we took a ferry to Arau by Ferry. I’m telling you that i’m not going anywhere on Public Holidays. It made me realize how overpopulated our earth is.

We made a brief visit at around Arau and Jibah’s house before we went back to KL.

The 12 hours journey began. I cant avoid this trip because all ETS train ticket are SOLD OUT. I managed to get only this even though i turned up early at ticket counter. T___T However, it cost us RM 41 only per person. Its cheaper though.

Road to Escapism…

By The Gorgeous Palah Chingu* Please bear in mind that i aint professional photographer. Any attempt to take a very good picture is very limited in this post due to my own mediocrity. heh.

Venue: Zoo Taiping, Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAyyy Girllllll!!

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TAIPING – The Small Paradise, A Great Piece of Heritage

BY RUBY GEGE

I’ve been feeling quite down lately mainly because I’m having a hard time adjusting to my work life. Thus, I woke up last Thursday with a great feeling of distress and desire to escape KL for a while. I texted Palah and asked her whether or not she’ll be free this weekend. She instantly replied, “if you are thinking of coming here, just come lah!!”

So I did. I told myself – what the hell. It’s a three hour drive but I’m sure I’ll reach Taiping in two hours and half. Fuck long hours at work on a Friday. Fuck the exhaustion. Fuck everything. I am going to visit my best friend in Taiping to make myself happy. So I did. I woke up that Friday, feeling so pumped up and could not wait for the day to be over. I left office at 8 pm and drove straight to Taiping, reaching there at almost 11 pm. It was quite an easy drive and the traffic was clear. 

After spending two days here, I have to say Taiping is a lovely town with a rich heritage values with old pre-colonial buildings almost everywhere. Palah is living with Ika, another friend of mind, who is a native of Taiping. The town is a pretty much a quiet town, almost dying in a sense with ruined buildings here and there. Yet, it felt amazingly calm and peaceful to be there – a feeling I can never experience in KL. Ouh, my dislike towards that city is unfortunately increasing day by day…

Saturday morning, we had breakfast in Restoran Yut Sun, a nice kopitiam with great white coffees and breakfast menu. 

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Then, we visited the Perak Museum. Even though it is not as big as Penang Museum, the building has a very beautiful colonial infrastructure. 

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Afterwards, we visited the First Galleria, a private museum exhibiting all the ‘FIRSTS’ things in Taiping. Taiping, which means ‘Everlasting Peace’ in Mandarin, was the centre of tin mining in Malaysia. A lot of facilities were built here in Malaysia ie the railway station, the post office and others. We had a very nice and passionate tour guide, who is also a student, Rais to explain to us the history of Taiping.

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Then we had dinner at Taiping Mall and watched Annabelle. I had no idea why I agreed but it was fun, anyway.

Sunday, we had breakfast at a bakery (because all kopitiams were closed on Sunday. I was soooo sad!!) Afterwards, we went to Antong Coffee Factory, which was the first coffee mill to ever be built in Malaysia. The sisters there are very very nice and offered us free coffees. 

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BUT my favourite place to visit has to be the historical house which was located inside the factory compound. It used to be resided by the father of modern China, Dr Sun Yat Sen and his second wife, Chen Cui Fen. I honestly did not know that the factory houses a massive historical piece of Dr Sun and was literally gawking as I saw the signboard with Sun Yat Sen’s picture on it. Being a fan of Chinese history, I could not help but to turn a little crazy and over excited. The uncle who works there is super nice and allows us in to take photos!!

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Then, we went to the Lake Garden. One friend of mine suggested I visit the place, telling me that a visit to Taiping would not be complete without seeing the beautiful Lake Garden. I am so glad I listened to her advice. 

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It is 3.48 pm now and I am about to leave Taiping, feeling tremendously satisfied and happy yet a little bit melancholic.

Why? 

Perhaps because I am growing increasingly unhappy in KL. It’s too crowded, too materialistic, too money-centred. Everybody is so intense, everybody is so crazy, everybody is trying to achieve something. I did want to run away for a while. Coming to Taiping, it gave me everything my heart has been seeking for. A small town that reminds me of my happy childhood in Kuala Krai and Bentong. A small town that reminds me that life does not revolve around money, success and stability all the time. Most importantly, I get to meet my best friend!! Hahaha, because really, life without the physical presence of your best friends near you is so so so ultimately depressing. Dear Fatma, how I hope she can join us one day and the three can go visit the beautiful small towns in Malaysia!!!

Bye bye Taiping!! I have a strong feeling I’ll be meeting you again soon!! *hahaha maybe next month??*

FOR MORE PHOTOS OF MY TAIPING VISIT, GO TO THIS LINK! Hehehehe – https://www.facebook.com/ruby.jusoh/media_set?set=a.10205333369920319.1073741842.1430351623&type=

and Palah also has a lot of gorgeous Taiping photos in her Facebook as well – https://www.facebook.com/mrs.athrunzala/media_set?set=a.10204806687148244.1073741845.1270314211&type=1

P/S – I really have to get the extremely negative thoughts out of my head. They have been keeping my spirit down to the point I feel like escaping KL every single day and go live with my friends. I have to be positive positive positive!! (I am mumbling here so that I can actually try to absorb this fucking advice!) Work for just a few more months and prepare my PhD proposal at the same time… I believe I can do it!!!!!!! But maybe, just maybe, to survive, little escapades to small towns like Taiping is a necessity… Hahaha

REDANG ISLAND — You’re a true Beauty

By The Gorgeous Palah Chingu*The opinions expressed in this post are strictly the author’s personal opinions and other individual’s experience may vary.

——- MY FIRST TIME EXPERIENCE BEING (AN UNOFFICIAL) VACATION PLANNER TO MY FAMILY.

4 months ago, I went to Redang Island but I never had a chance to write about it. By chance I mean, I don’t have ample time to do so and somehow writing about my own vacation will drive readers goes bleghhhh. However, lately I felt the urge to write about it probably because I really need a vacation and nature is the best stress reliever. Besides, this is my first time being a vacation planner for my family. Originally, one of my eldest brothers and I decided to give a present of vacation package for the 30th anniversary of my parent’s wedding to them. My father somehow had another plan in his mind. He wanted all of us go and join the vacation. My mother didn’t mind at all and I was at that time is the only one who had a free time to be a planner. After doing some research on the price and where the best resort to stay is, I stumbled upon Redang Mutiara Beach Resort. Compared to other resorts, this place is quite affordable if you wanted to stay on the island.

This is where we have to wait for the ferry to come.
This is where we have to wait for the ferry to come.
Family Photo first (my youngest brother is not in the picture).
Family Photo first (my youngest brother is not in the picture).

We drove from Kuala Lumpur at 10.00 PM on 11 April 2014 whereby the total hours taken to arrive at Terengganu is nearly at 8 hours. We almost lost because finding a small jetty (Merang Jetty) in the isolated area in Terengganu is not easy. Luckily, Waze and Google Maps is pretty much comes in handy in times like that. We arrived at Merang Jetty during Dawn and we slept at Mosque right after Subuh Prayer. Around 8.30 am, we took our breakfast and readied ourselves to wait for our ferry to come and get us. The Itinerary give by Redang Mutiara Beach Resort is pretty much clear and detailed. However, they failed to excel at punctuality. We waited for almost an hour before the ferry arrived and take us to their location. Being an unofficial planner is not easy especially people are expecting you to do everything and if every single thing is not going the way that they wanted, they’re all whining like a bitch. That’s what happened to me. I booked a family suite for my family considering we have 9 people including my parents and my brother’s wife and son. The resort website featured the pictures of their resort near the beach. I was expecting that our family suite is near the beach but it was disappointing seeing that the location is almost isolated and a bit far from the beach. One thing that I really enjoy from the location of our family suite is it is very close to café. Whenever breakfast, lunch and dinner are served, we are among the first one to arrive.

Family Suite
Family Suite

I am also surprised to the lack of organization and cooperation from the staffs there. We arrived there and somehow expected a ‘welcome drink’ at a café as stated in the itinerary. I was wrong. We have to do our own drink and only food is served according to time give. The dry pantry is located near the café where you can get an unlimited supply of Nescafe, Tea, Milk and Sugar there. The hot water also available most of the times considering the part of ‘you have to do your own drink’ is 24/7. The disappointing look from my father when he got to know about this is just unbearable. Of course, it is my fault because I didn’t ask but hey, who would expected that a welcome drink is ‘do your own drink’. If this happened to any of you, you will be sure as hell didn’t expect it too. The family suite is pretty nice. It has 2 rooms with 2 queen beds in it. There is only one toilet attached with shower and sink and it is located in between of the 2 rooms. The food served at the resort is okay. The reason I say okay is because of the price we paid, we should get more than that but somehow, since the taste is not so bad and you can eat how much you wanted to eat, I probably should stop complaining.

at Redang Island Resort
at Redang  Mutiara Island Resort
Cafe at the Redang Mutiara Resort.
Cafe at the Redang Mutiara Resort.

The lack of activities to do at night is what baffled me the most. I was expecting to see some board game as they did mentioned indoor activity in the itinerary. My brothers did go out and play a carom but that’s it. The rest of it like throwing darts or playing card is nowhere to be found. The resort should improve their itinerary by informing the details where to get it and who is the person in charge in the activity. When we arrived on the first day, the staff told me that snorkeling activity will begin at 2.30 PM and anyone wanted to join should wait at reception. My brothers and I decided we wanted to join on tomorrow’s snorkeling trip because we are too exhausted that evening. An 8 hours non-stop driving from Kuala Lumpur and a very little amount of sleep could do that to you. On a second day, I woke up with the hope of going to a snorkeling trip that I missed yesterday. When I asked the counter, they said the boat is already gone. I am so angry at that time. In the itinerary they said it would be at 9.45 but dude, I was there at 9.30. Having to be dismissed right away by the unfriendly staff, I went to a beach to cool myself off. Later, my brothers joined me too. The beach cured my anger right away. With very clear water, white sand and you can see some of the tropical fish, it is magnificent view. After 1 hour playing in the water, we have been approached by another staff at the resort asking whether we wanted to go to snorkeling. I told him that some of the staff said that the boat to snorkeling already gone. He claimed that’s not true and asking my brothers and I to go to the jetty right away. The false information like this showed that some of the staff there is incompetent and should not be allowed to work at reception area. Just imagined if there are no staff reached us and told us that snorkeling has not yet started. It would be PR disaster because I would sure as hell did not want to recommend any of my relatives and friends to go there.

A clear blue seawater
A clear blue seawater
Jetty at Redang Mutiara Beach Resort
Jetty at Redang Mutiara Beach Resort
Breath taking view
Breath taking view

We went to Marine Park which took about 15 minutes to arrive from Redang Mutiara Jetty. Upon arrival, I was so amazed. The water is super clear and the tropical fish in it is so colorful. We wasted no time there. Although I don’t know how to swim but floating is one of my skills that I am so proud of. Using the goggles and life jacket provided by the resort, we started our adventure in Marine Park. My youngest brother tried to teach me to swim but it already failed in the first 5 minutes considering I am panicking whenever he let go of my hands. Some of the visitors there brought white bread with them to feed the fish. I just hope they feed the fish responsibly and know where to put the plastic package of the white bread where it belonged. 1 hours and half passed us by without any of us realize it. I really enjoyed this activity. If I knew how to swim, imagine what would I say if I try scuba diving? That would be so much fun. We went back to the resort with the smile of my face. Of course, my face burned and my body ached so much but it’s all worth it. In the evening, there is another snorkeling activity arranged by the resort. I persuaded my parents to join the activity. Unfortunately, we didn’t go to the Marine Park but we go to another island with wide beach that doesn’t limit people to do swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving. Marine Park is gorgeous but this one is more tourists friendly. My dad who is enthusiastic in fishing felt that he could catch some of the big fish there if he brought the fishing rod. Most of the area in Redang Island is protected area so there is no fishing activity allowed there. If you wanted to go fishing, you have to rent a boat and went to the area that fishing is allowed which is a bit far from the island.

Spending quality time with my brothers
Spending quality time with my brothers
My nephew and his own version of sand castle
My nephew and his own version of sand castle

By the way, if you happened to go here and expected some fresh seafood to be served during BBQ, please lower your expectation. I really hope that their BBQ in itinerary will serve fresh seafood like squid or seashells and it’s not. It turned out my father was right. There’s a hot dog and some frozen food that has been cooked earlier. Another disappointment served us that night. We went back to KL on 14 April 2014. We checked out right after the breakfast and arrived at Merang Jetty around 11. We did some sightseeing at Kuala Terengganu before heading back to Kuala Lumpur at 4 PM. We arrived at KL around 11 PM. Yes, we are disappointed with this vacation but I redeemed this feeling with the experience of having to try snorkeling for the first time and enjoyed the serene feeling underwater with fish swimming under me. It may look ordinary to some of you but heck; I would love to do it again and again. You will find no picture on Marine Park because we left our phones at the suite. Even if i bring my own camera, it does not have waterproof feature where it would be useful to take picture of tropical fish at the Marine Park.

Overall rating for this Redang Island trip:

My Rating: 3/5

1) Marine Park (Snorkeling Activities): 4/5

2) Facilities: 3/5

3) Accommodation: 3 /5

4) Food: 3 /5

5) Staffs: 2.5/5